What Causes Foot Fungus ?
Natural remedies to treat the infection:
Toenail fungus and Athletes feet is very common, affecting millions of people in the United States annually, and If left untreated fungus infections can go on for years.
Athlete’s foot is an infectious skin disease caused by a fungal infection. Itchy red rashes develop in between and also on the toes. It causes the skin to become cracked and sore. Toenail fungus is known as Onychomycosis and Characterised by inflammation and pain, swelling of the toes, yellowing, thickening and crumbling of the toenail.
The first response after detection is to resolve the issue with some over the counter cream. But when one faces disappointment with these conventional medicines, they look for the best natural remedies.
There are a variety of causes at play when it comes to foot fungus such as:
- Abnormal pH balance
- Continued exposure to moisture
- Wearing synthetic socks
- A compromised immune system
- Excessively sweaty feet
- Bad foot hygiene
- Picking up the infection whilst walking bare feet in certain in public places like spas, swimming pools, and saunas.
- No ventilation for feet for long periods
- Damp conditions to feet
- being in physical contact to a person who has the infection
Natural Remedies to Treat Foot Fungus
This natural clay has a strong negative ionic charge, which when activated, supercharges the clay. This enables bentonite clay to get rid of the bacteria or fungus.
- Mix a few tablespoons of the natural clay with water and make a paste. Apply it on the affected area and let it dry. Wash it away with warm water and thoroughly dry the affected area.
- Another way to use bentonite clay is to apply the paste on the affected area and leave it overnight. Use a plastic wrap to keep the paste in place.
- Wash it first thing in the morning and dry feet well. Follow the routine daily for 1-2 weeks.
- Daily Addition: after the soak, mix 1-2 tablespoons of bentonite clay and ½ teaspoon of cayenne powder in a bowl.
- Add two drops of cinnamon, clove, and frankincense essential oil and mix well.
- Store the powder in a glass jar and sprinkle it on the affected area every day.
Hydrogen peroxide can kill the fungus on the surface foot level, as well as any surface bacteria that could cause an infection. Hydrogen peroxide can also be used in a foot soak or topically applied.
- Mix ⅛ cup of hydrogen peroxide (or several capfuls) to 4 cups of cool water and soak feet for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse feet with warm water and dry well.
- You can directly wipe hydrogen peroxide on your infected toes or feet with a clean cloth or cotton swab.
- Please note, using hydrogen peroxide directly may sting and bubble, especially if you have open wounds.
Oil of Oregano:
Oregano is another miracle worker straight from nature and may be a more powerful anti-fungal than other commercial over the counter products that are available. Due to its antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antiviral, analgesic and anti-fungal properties, it is a great treatment for fungus skin infections, including athlete's foot and ringworm.
- Mix 3-6 drops Oil of Oregano with one teaspoon of olive oil.
- Then apply the mixture to the affected area and let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse and dry your feet properly. Repeat this twice daily for 3 weeks for best results.
Apple Cider Vinegar:
The acidity in apple cider vinegar helps to prevent foot fungus from spreading and also kills bacteria and fungi.
- Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and then let your feet soak in the solution for 30 minutes.
- Make sure you completely dry your feet once have finished soaking.
- An option is to add tea tree foot powder or talc powder to the feet after soaking and use a hairdryer to completely dry the feet.
- You can also use cotton wool dipped in apple cider vinegar applying it on the affected areas several times a day. This will help to reduce itching, burning sensation and scaling.
- Follow these procedures daily for two weeks.
Tea tree oil, also known as melaleuca oil, is an essential oil that comes from steaming the leaves of the Australian tea tree. Tea tree oil is a popular choice when used topically for treating foot fungus and insect bites because of its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It helps to calm redness, swelling, and itching.
- Mix 15 drops of tea tree oil with 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil. Use cotton wool and apply the mixture directly to the affected area. Leave on for 10 -15minutes.
- Then use a spare toothbrush to gently scrub down the area.
- It normally takes about a week or so of applying this rub three times daily before the problem will be cleared up.
Baking soda is good for killing bacteria and is fungistatic, meaning fungus are prevented from growing.it also helps neutralise food odours and smells.
- Mix ½ a cup of baking soda with ¼ cup 3% hydrogen peroxide, ½ a cup Epsom salt and 4 cups of warm water.
- Mix it all up and then lastly add ¼ cup of white vinegar.
- Soak your feet in the solution for about 15- 20 minutes then wash and dry properly.
- Use it twice daily for a week or 2 for best results.
Vinegar is inexpensive, accessible, and effective in killing microbes, including bacteria and fungus. White Vinegar not only fights the infection but also help to restore the skin’s pH balance.
- Mix 1 part vinegar with 2 parts of warm water and soak feet for 15-20 minutes twice daily.
- For a more potent foot soak, the ratio could be 1 part vinegar to 1part water. Follow the procedure for 2 weeks for best results.
- Epsom salt
Soaking feet in Epsom salts (magnesium sulphate), can be beneficial to relieve foot fungus.
- Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt to two parts of warm to hot water and soak feet for 10 to 20 minutes.
- You could also try a more elaborate Epsom salt concoction that includes: 4 cups warm to hot water, ½ cup Epsom salt, ½ cup baking soda, ¼ cup vinegar, ¼ hydrogen peroxide.
- Add a few drops each of peppermint oil, clove oil, lemon oil. Mix all of the ingredients and soak feet for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Follow the procedure for 2 weeks for best results.
Cornmeal has long been used as a way to banish black-spot fungal disease from roses. Corn hosts a form of fungus harmless to the human body yet deadly to Candida, one of the most common fungal parasites that cause infections of the foot and toenails.
- Mix 1 cup of cornmeal with 2 parts of warm water, letting the cornmeal and water mix naturally for an hour.
- Then, add enough warm water to cover your entire foot and let it soak for an hour.
- Wash it away with warm water and thoroughly dry the affected area.
- You can try cornmeal as a weekly home remedy and as an addition to the other remedies listed.
Taking oral supplements can help treat foot fungus.
- Olive Leaf Extract is excellent because it cures fungal infections and is also anti-bacterial and antiviral.
- Consider taking probiotics, because an imbalance of the healthy micro-flora in your body can make you more vulnerable to infections. Taking a good quality probiotic supplement along with one of the remedies listed will improve the effectiveness.
Your diet could be feeding fungus caused by candida overgrowth. Here are some diet changes you can make to starve the yeast and improve toenail fungus:
- Cut out sugar
- reduce alcohol
- Limit your carbohydrate intake
- Cook with coconut oil
- Incorporate ginger and garlic
Clean Socks & Footwear
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus.
- Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried.
- Drying shoes in the hot sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
- Adding a half of a cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
- Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an anti-fungal spray.
- Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Practicing proper hygiene is important to avoid making feet fungus worse.
- Wear socks that wick away moisture.
- Use anti-fungal foot powder.
- Remove shoes and socks immediately after a workout to let feet breathe.
- Wear flip flops/sandals in shower rooms, changing rooms and pools to protect feet.
- It’s helpful to wash feet with antibacterial soap and completely dry your feet after your shower.
Allow Feet to Breathe:
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth.
- Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks made from cotton, bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
- Following your foot soak, rinse your feet with clean water and pat dry with a clean towel every time to avoid contaminating clean feet.
- Always put on clean socks and treated shoes following your foot bath and treatment.
- If you have to treat more than one toenail, make sure you sterilise the tools or at least wash them thoroughly after cutting each nail. This will reduce the chances of spreading the infection anymore.
- Wear gloves when treating your feet and wash hands after to avoid infection spreading to the hands.
Seek Medical Help:
If you are still experiencing stubborn foot fungus, you may need to see a specialist. There are various types of fungi and yeasts and a dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analysed. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.
Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis, diabetes, and immune disorder diseases. As always, it’s important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens.